A study published this summer has given further credence to what pro-lifers have long known: that abortion increases the risk of mental health disorders. Dr. D. Paul Sullins tracked over 8,000 women at three ages: 15, 22, and 28. The goal was to have “the largest and most extensive study of the health-related behaviors of U.S. adolescents during the transition to adulthood.”
Sullins adjusted for over 20 demographic variables, including age, race, pre-existing mental health conditions, socioeconomic status, and more. And even after this, a clear increase in mental health disorders was found after women underwent abortion.
It’s not the first longitudinal study to conclude that there’s a significant link between abortion and mental health disorders. Two examples of similar studies were Fergusson and colleagues’ New Zealand study (link) and Pedersen’s Norway study (link), both of which followed cohorts of women from adolescence into their late 20s. Both of those studies also concluded that there was a clear connection between abortion and “affective and addictive disorders, including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and abuse of marijuana, alcohol, or other illicit drugs.”
The conclusions of the Sullins study are that even after adjusting for over twenty demographic variables and covariates, there is still a clear, significantly increased relative risk of mental health disorders for women who have abortions.
Importantly, the Sullins study compares across all pregnancy outcomes too (abortion, live birth, or unintended pregnancy loss). Even when comparing a woman who chooses abortion to a woman who loses a pregnancy for any other reason, the relative risks of mental health disorders are higher in post-abortive women.
Abortion advocates sneer at the idea of ‘post-abortion syndrome,’ but the scientific data is clear. Abortion can have serious negative consequences on a woman’s mental health.
Only one study, conducted in 2013, found that women didn’t feel any regret within three years of their abortions. That study was deeply flawed, however, and is in opposition to the bulk of medical research. 29 out of 30 studies found that women who have abortions are at an increased risk for mental health disorders. Denying this doesn’t make the risks go away; it just means that women who have abortions can’t give informed consent, because they aren’t being given all of the information. The only study to not have found this is the 2013 study, which only tracked women over three years, almost half of whom had prior abortions, including some who had multiple abortions, and was not an accurate representation of American women.
The reality is that abortion does increase the risk of mental health disorders. This includes depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, and drug and alcohol abuse. Instead of acknowledging this, and thus allowing women who seek abortions to be forewarned of what they’re risking, the abortion industry denies it. But saying something isn’t true over and over again doesn’t make it any less true… and women deserve to know the truth before they put themselves at risk.